Do you love marmots?

Have you enjoyed the website?

Or, are you just hankering to support scientific research?

Great! We’re always looking for financial support for our long-term research on the behavior and ecology of yellow-bellied marmots.

In 1962, Ken Armitage (an Emeritus Professor at the University of Kansas) began live-trapping, marking and observing the marmots in and around the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. This has turned into the longest-running study of a non-game mammal. One of the hallmarks of the marmot project is that it focuses on individuals. Regular trapping and marking of individuals during their summer active season allows us to understand their relationships. Regular watching gives us a front-row seat on the soap opera that emerges! This effort pays off because we are thus in the somewhat unique position to study the evolutionary consequences of individual behavior.

Recently, Ken and collaborators have begun to use these long-term data to help understand how alpine species may respond to global climate change. At our study site, Spring has been coming earlier and, in some years, is associated with heavier snowfall. These have important consequences for the future of marmots and other sympatric species that have only a few months in which to breed and gain sufficient weight to survive hibernation.

Additional on-going work focuses on the meaning of alarm calls, and on understanding why and how adult female marmots sometimes prevent their daughters from breeding. Reproductive suppression is an evolutionary paradox because you might initially assume that by enabling your relatives to breed, you'll ultimately leave more descendents. Preventing them from breeding requires explanation.

All of this research would benefit from your tax-deductible donation. Almost every dollar will go to directly support our research--there is only 6% institutional overhead. To help out, send a check made out to the “ University of California Regents” along with a letter saying that “this is an unrestricted donation to support marmot research by Dan Blumstein”.

Please mail your check to:

Dan Blumstein
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
621 Young Drive South
University of California
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1606

Interested in making a more focused donation? Contact Dan Blumstein at

All donations will be acknowledged and we will keep donors updated with an annual newsletter.